Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice
Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Police
Minister of Corrections
Chief Victims Advisor underpins package to prevent family violence
A cross-government approach to prevent family violence proposes new Justice sector initiatives to keep women and
children safe, Justice Minister Judith Collins and Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley announced today.
“The high rate of family violence in New Zealand is unacceptable – too many domestic violence victims continue to be
re-victimised even when a protection order is in place,” Ms Collins says.
“This Government is committed to do more to end family violence. That’s why we’re proposing a suite of initiatives to
increase the safety of family violence victims, reduce the risk that they will be re-victimised and make services more
responsive to victims’ individual needs.”
The Justice sector’s stronger response to family violence links with Associate Minister for Social Development Tariana
Turia’s work to promote community wide rejection of family violence. Together with the Government’s focus on vulnerable
children, it will help future generations of children to grow up without family violence.
The Government has identified four key Justice sector action areas to: better protect victims of family violence;
improve victims’ experience in the justice system; support judicial decision-making in cases involving domestic
violence; and ensure domestic violence legislation is modern and fit for purpose.
The proposals to help achieve these include:
· Establishing a Chief Victims Advisor to the Minister of Justice to advise on the needs and views of victims of crime,
including domestic violence victims.
· Testing an intensive case management service to provide specialist support for domestic violence victims at high risk
of serious harm or death.
· Establishing a nationwide home safety service to help victims who want to leave a violent relationship. The service
will offer practical support such as safety planning, strengthening doors and windows and installing alarms.
· Reviewing the Domestic Violence Act 1995 to ensure it keeps victims safe and holds offenders to account.
· Exploring the possibility of a conviction disclosure scheme, which may allow a person to be told whether their partner
has a history of violence.
· Trialling mobile safety alarms with GPS technology for victims, so they can notify Police of an emergency, and their
· Introduce legislation to change the Sentencing Act, which will allow courts to stipulate GPS monitoring of high-risk
domestic violence offenders who can’t currently have this condition imposed upon them.
Both Ministers say giving Judges more powers to order GPS monitoring for offenders will help keep more victims safe.
24-hour monitoring of the most serious offenders means an alarm will be raised if they go near an exclusion zone, while
it also lets offenders know that there is a record of where they are and where they have been.
“GPS alarms for victims can help inform Police where a victim is if they are at risk, so they can take action,” Mrs
Mrs Tolley says technology is continuing to evolve, and the Government and supporting agencies are doing all we can to
get the full benefits from it.
“Following the rollout of smartphones to the frontline, Police will also be exploring how technology could be used to
gather video evidence which could then be used in courts.”
The Government will also explore whether prosecutors should be able to invite the judge or jury to draw an adverse
inference when a defendant refuses to give evidence in sexual violence cases. Current law only allows the defendant, the
defendant’s lawyer or the Judge to comment on a defendant’s failure to give evidence.
Ms Collins says officials will continue to work on the details of the proposals, provide the Government with more advice
and launch trials over the coming year.
“Improving safety and support for family violence victims will reduce violent crime and re-offending – and most
importantly, it will make a big difference to the lives of victims and their children,” Ms Collins says.